The Church has disappointed me, time and time again. By The Church, I mean the Christian Church.
I have stood in offices of private Christian schools and overheard gossip about others within the school; gossip that never should have been repeated. I have been told information I should never have been told by Christians who never should have known it, let alone shared it. I have heard Christians run down people who are struggling with cancer, mock people who were struggling with parenting, and betray people who were supposed to be their friends.
I have listened to people who call themselves Christians speak sarcastically and condescendingly to other Christians. I have been rejected by many Christians and I have been pushed to the outside of circles because I wasn’t the “right kind of Christian.”
And I have also done some of these things in the past myself.
I have been disappointed in myself.
I open my mouth or use my fingers at times I should not. I get annoyed and instead of praying, walking away and asking God to seal my mouth, I blurt out that annoyance. I have a quick tongue (and quick fingers) that God has been taming and has tamed in the past, only for me to lose control again. It may not seem like it to some, but I am so much better than I used to be. If people only knew how far I’ve come, they’d be so proud of me, even though I never recognize my progress and am rarely proud of myself.
That’s the issue when we judge people from only what we can see. Sometimes we see where a person is and not how far they’ve come. Trust me, I am very, very guilty of this.
The bottom line is that it is almost inevitable that at some point in our life The Church will disappoint us.
Its’ members will hurt us.
We will hurt them.
They will make mistakes.
We will make mistakes.
They are humans and we are humans and the only way for us all to get better is to commit to trying our best to live like Christ.
Church is not a place for perfect people.
It’s a place for hurting, broken, struggling, and failing people.
The people who hurt, break, and fail us.
No matter how many times The Church or its’ people disappoint us, God will never disappoint us.
Humans are ever-changing.
God is never changing.
I find that fact that God never changes comforting in the moments when I fail; when I fall off the wagon of keeping my mouth shut and get myself in trouble – once again.
I am not proud of those moments, but I know that even in those moments God loves me.
He knows I’m human and I’m going to fail.
He knows I want to change and I want to make amends where I can.
And he knows that The Church, his imperfect people, are simply learning as they go and they may hurt each other but that he will never hurt us and will always be there to comfort and hold us in our pain.
Don’t let the pain and hurt the people of God’s church have inflicted on you keep you from the never-changing love of Christ.
He’s with us even when The Church isn’t.